As the age-old saying dictates, patience is a virtue. For Ed Cooley, this manifested itself in his successful recruitment of Alpha Diallo, a top-100 level recruit who did not commit to Providence until late April of this year. Diallo, a 6'7" small forward, comes to Providence via Brewster Academy, where he averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his senior season. He picked Providence over the likes of Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Florida, and finished the season ranked 95th in ESPN's Top 100 recruiting rankings and 112th in Rivals' Top 150 recruiting rankings.
Diallo represents the crown jewel of Cooley's latest class, a long and talented wing player who will bring a needed scoring punch. With Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil out the door, Cooley needs baskets any way he can get them; Diallo can at least do his part to help him out, as you can see in the video below.
That's wasn't against helplessly over-matched talent; no, Diallo starred in a game that included a laundry list of highly regarded recruits, just as he did all season in the prestigious New England Prep League.
There's no question that the talent is there for Diallo; the biggest question remains where, and how much, he will play in his freshman season. While the Friars lost a ton of scoring with the departures of Dunn and Bentil, they did not lose any of their wing players: Ryan Fazekas, Drew Edwards, Jalen Lindsey, and Rodney Bullock all return, and all have a good argument as to why they should see minutes on the court.
Perhaps a good sign for Diallo is that he seems comfortable, as shown above, handling the ball and commanding an offense. If Cooley so pleases, he may be able to get away with Diallo spelling Kyron Cartwright and Maliek White, and be able to put a lineup on the court whose length interrupts other teams' offensive rhythms.
A guy with as good a feel for the game as Diallo is bound to make his mark in his four years as a Friar; however, the key now is to try and earn enough playing time to do so as a Freshman. If Diallo has a good fall and performs well early on, there will be a spot for him; the key now is to impress Cooley enough to see significant minutes in his freshman campaign as a Friar.